Food Law News - EU - 2006

FSA Local Authority Letter (ENF/E/06/072), 20 November 2006

RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINATION - Commission Regulation (EC) No 1635/2006 New Chernobyl Regulation

Regulation (EC) 1635/2006 was published on 7 November 2006 in the Official Journal of the European Community (the OJ) and revokes and replaces Regulation (EC) 1661/1999 governing imports of agricultural products originating in third countries following the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in 1986.

Please see the following link to the EU website

The countries affected by the Regulation are Albania , Belarus , Bosnia & Herzegovina , Bulgaria , Croatia , Liechtenstein , Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia , Moldova , Montenegro , Norway , Romania , Russia , Serbia , Switzerland , Turkey and the Ukraine .


Following the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, a number of European regulations established controls on imports of agricultural products originating in third countries affected by the radioactive contamination. Some fruit and vegetables from the above countries had to comply with a European Commission Regulation concerning maximum permitted levels (MPLs) for radiocaesium contamination, as laid down in Article 3 of Council Regulation 737/90. Subsequently Regulation (EC) 1661/1999 laid down detailed requirements on the application of Regulation 737/90 and established specific conditions governing the import of certain food collected from the wild. As well as some POAO, these 2 regulations affect fruits of the forest of the genus Vaccinium (cranberries, bilberries, cowberries etc) and wild (uncultivated) mushrooms or products containing these. Importers had to provide export and analytical certificates attesting that the radiocaesium content is less than the MPL.

Action for Ports

The new Regulation requires Member States to give the Commission a list of points of import (HM Revenue and Customs offices) for publication in the OJ. The FSA last provided the Commission with an update of ports of entry through which mushrooms must be imported, on 3 March 2005. Those ports are:

The Agency continues to monitor the need for specific legislation in this area however in the interim the provisions of Regulation (EC) 882/2004 should be used to control relevant consignments.

The advice contained in this letter should not be taken as an authoritative statement of the law or its interpretation. Only the courts can decide whether in particular circumstances an offence has been committed.

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